Sharing Successes: How social prescribing service is supporting patient with loneliness
Posted: Mon, 14 Jun 2021 08:00
This week is Loneliness Awareness Week, and the theme this year is acceptance. Loneliness is a natural human emotion, we need to remove the stigma and shame surrounding it.
The case study below from Active Plus details how the social prescribing service has helped a patient dealign with anxiety, loneliness and low mood;
'X' was referred to the social prescribing service in September 2019, struggling with anxiety, loneliness, and low mood after suffering a stroke. His physical recovery had been good, but it had impacted his mental health and confidence. He was making phone calls to friends and family, day and night, and his family were becoming unable to cope. A family member attended with 'X' on his initial assessment, and they spoke and completed the wellbeing questionnaire on his behalf. We discussed how mornings were particularly triggering due to difficulties with the morning routine. With the patient's consent, a referral was made to Adult Social Care for a needs assessment, and to Age UK for help with Attendance Allowance. He set his goals to feel more content, start reading again, and keep up with football.
At the 6 week review, 'X' attended on his own and was calmer, more relaxed, and chatty. Carers were coming in the morning, which provided social contact as well as helping with morning tasks. He was no longer making calls to family and friends and had started to attend village lunches and carry out independent activities. At the 3 month review, 'X' was confident, engaging and had an improved score on the wellbeing questionnaire, which he completed himself. He had attended a quiz at the local football club, and was regularly chatting to people in the village.
Due to COVID-19, the 6 month face-to-face appointment was instead held over the phone. His family was concerned that his amazing progress would be affected by a prolonged period of isolation. It was agreed that under the circumstances, we would be in touch weekly. 'X' needed to find a new way to maintain connected with the community, and take part in online activities via Zoom. His friend setup Facebook on an old laptop, and he was referred to CRCC for IT support, but unfortunately the laptop wasn't up to the task. The enabling fund was used to buy a tablet with a large screen, and quickly 'X' became confident in using it and was able to keep contact and take part in activities, he said it was: "FANTASTIC! What you have done for me is tremendous".
Jan Rooney - SPLW, Active Plus
"Thank you very much for all you're doing for him. I didn't know how we would cope, that's in the past, he's doing really well. Thank you for all the support. Once we were in the system that was he best thing. He's being cared for really well". - Family member of 'X'
How to get support
If you are in need of support or know someone who could benefit from social prescribing contact your local GP Surgery and ask to be connected to a social prescribing link worker.
For more information on social prescribing please visit:
Loneliness Awareness Week runs 14-18 June.